The decision to undergo an abortion is a complex and deeply personal one for any woman. Therefore, it is important to understand the physical side effects and recovery process that follow such a life-changing procedure.
In light of that, let’s talk about the potential physical ramifications and the journey of recovery after an abortion.
Physical Side Effects of Abortion
Types of Abortions
Before we discuss the immediate physical effects after an abortion, it’s important to understand the 2 types of abortions: medical and surgical.
A medical abortion occurs by taking 2 pills, usually within a 48-hour period of time. The first pill is typically administered with the healthcare provider present and the second pill is often taken at home, which is where the abortion will actually occur, as long as you are at home.
A surgical abortion can be performed as early as 6 weeks after conception and this done in a clinical setting. During surgical abortion procedures, the provider will surgically remove the fetus from the uterus using either a suction tool or other tools, if the fetus is too large for the suction tool.
The physical side effects can vary depending on the type of abortion.
Physical Effects from a Medical Abortion
The Mayo Clinic lists the side effects and potential risks of medical abortion:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Fever, especially serious if longer than 24 hours
- Digestive system discomfort
- Abdominal cramping
- Flu-like symptoms
- Shaking chills
- Many more (link)
These symptoms are a result of the disruption caused to the body during the abortion procedure and may persist for several days.
Physical Effects from a Surgical Abortion
MyHealth.Alberta.ca lists the possible complications that can occur after a surgical abortion:
- Severe bleeding, including passing clots bigger than a golf ball
- Headache, muscle aches, and dizziness
- Severe pain in the belly
- Hot flashes or a fever
- Sudden abdominal swelling or rapid heart rate
- Vaginal discharge
- Pain, swelling, or redness in the genital area
While abortion is often portrayed as a safe procedure, it is not without risks. Complications such as infection, heavy bleeding, damage to the uterus, and negative impacts on future pregnancies have been reported. Understanding these risks is important for making an informed decision.
Abortion can pose potential risks to future fertility. Damage to the uterus or cervix, particularly in the case of multiple abortions, may increase the likelihood of complications in subsequent pregnancies. It is crucial for women considering abortion to be aware of these implications.
Emotional and Psychological Impact
While the emotional and psychological aspects are not purely physical side effects, they are closely intertwined with a woman’s overall well-being. Many women report feelings of guilt, sadness, and regret after an abortion, which can have significant emotional and even physical consequences. It is important to think about these potential effects alongside the physical repercussions.
Recovery Process After Abortion
Rest and Recovery
After an abortion, allowing the body to rest and recover is of utmost importance. Engaging in light activities, taking time off work, and avoiding strenuous physical exertion are recommended during the healing process. Resting not only facilitates physical recovery but also allows emotional healing to begin.
Seeking post-abortion care is essential to monitor any potential complications or infections. Following the aftercare instructions, taking prescribed medications, and attending follow-up appointments are vital steps in ensuring a healthy recovery. In some cases, women do not want to return to the facility in which the abortion was performed. It is still crucial she is examined by a OBGYN, to be sure everything is healing properly.
Addressing the emotional impact of abortion is vital for a woman’s overall well-being. Engaging in post-abortion counseling or joining support groups can provide a place for processing emotions and reducing the risk of long-term psychological distress.
Before Scheduling an Abortion
Before you schedule an abortion, you’ll first need to verify your pregnancy with a pregnancy test and ultrasound. You can make an appointment here at Women’s Resource Medical Centers of Southern Nevada if you are in the Las Vegas area.
If the test is positive, we’ll provide an ultrasound. The typical cost for ultrasounds in Southern Nevada can cost hundreds of dollars, but at Women’s Resource Medical Centers, ultrasounds are offered to you at no cost.
We will also refer you where you can get STD tested to be sure you do not have a STI or STD before performing an abortion procedure.
Why do I need to get tested before an abortion?
During an abortion, the cervix is opened. If you have an infection, this can increase the risk of the STI spreading into other organs. Having an abortion procedure while infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea, two of the most common STIs, can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can cause lifelong damage and lead to future ectopic pregnancies or infertility.
Contact us today to learn more about abortion procedures, side effects, and possible risks.